Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Fun-Starved Future Could Await Students of 2034

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Fun-Starved Future Could Await Students of 2034

Article excerpt

University life in 2034 could have descended into a dystopian nightmare, where all students take concentration pills, campus bars have gone bust, and "experiences purely for the sake of fun are rare", a new report on the future of higher education in the UK envisages.

The scenario - one of four future paths for the sector put forward in Living and Learning in 2034: a Higher Education Futures Project, from student accommodation firm Unite Group and the University Alliance mission group - imagines a highly competitive society 20 years from now in which the economy has stagnated.

"The student wakes with the bare minimum amount of sleep," his eyes bloodshot, according to the scenario penned by a current student. "Focus is essential, so he starts the day by taking the concentration pills that sit by his bedside," it continues.

The report warns that in this scenario, higher education could "almost exclusively" be about training for employment and full-time degrees might take only 18 months to complete. …

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